The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

Staff Profile

Day in the Life of an Opinion Editor

Opinion Co-Editor Tai Caputo ‘25 takes us through a typical Journalism class period
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Tai Caputo ‘25 is a Feature and Opinion Co-Editor for The Little Hawk

First question, what’s the first thing you do when getting to journalism?

The first thing I do when I get to journalism is say hello to people and check in with them. If I’m editing someone else’s story, I check in with them about it. Or if someone is editing my work, I check in with them.

What does a normal class period look like for you?

In class, I do a lot of collaborating and communicating with other people. This includes asking other editors for advice, editing other peoples’ stories, helping writers brainstorm topics, communicating with the other editors of my two sections (Opinion and Feature), and co-writing articles. I also work on my own stories and the projects I’m doing individually.

Are there any stories you’re currently working on?

Right now I am working on a profile of the ICCSD Restorative Justice Coordinator, Brad Kelly, which is a Feature article. I’m also reporting on book banning and other political topics – things that are happening with the Legislature.

Do you usually have to take any work home?

Yes, most of the individual work I do as a reporter happens outside of class. That’s where I am able to do things that don’t involve other people as much. Being outside of class also allows me to have the space I need to focus.

What’s your favorite part of journalism?

My favorite part of journalism is the extent to which it involves people. I write about people; I write for people; I write with people. I really enjoy interviewing people, and asking them about their experiences, and about things that I never would have had the opportunity or the courage to ask them otherwise. I enjoy choosing topics that I find interesting, and learning about them, and giving students and other community members the opportunity to share their perspective and their knowledge.

As an editor, it’s also fun to collaborate on projects. I like editing other peoples’ stories and providing them with feedback and encouragement. Knowing that there are people in the community who read my articles gives me a sense of purpose. It makes me feel like the work I’m doing is raising awareness about what is going on at City High.

What stories do you think the Opinion section should be focusing on?

Opinion is a very specific section, because its articles are about the writer as an individual. The prose in an Opinion article is a different than that of any other kind of article. This is a section in which writers are able to present ideas in their own fashion; perhaps artistically and with a more individual voice than in many other sections, such as News, in which the writing is more functional and does not exist with any other purpose than to convey information. I think that Opinion is interesting in that way, because it really showcases the person who is writing and their experiences, in the context of other, larger issues, especially political ones.

I think that Opinion writers should choose a variety of topics. There are many possibilities. On the one hand, there are politically relevant topics, such as changes in legislation (especially in the state of Iowa), like book bans or the name laws. These kinds of topics often apply to both the individual and to the society at large. On the other hand, I also think that people should write about topics that don’t have to do with politics. For example, I recently read an article from another paper in which the student wrote that they think cursive should still be taught in schools, and that people should still write using cursive, for various reasons. This subject isn’t political per se, but it’s interesting and relevant.

Overall, I think that many Opinion articles are less about repeating a mainstream opinion and more about showcasing an individual person who has a unique perspective.

And last question, what’s the last thing you do before you leave journalism?

I say goodbye to people and ask them any final questions.

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